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Ur was a major city, and later the capital, of the Sumerian Empire in southern Mesopotamia. Its location near the sea made it a center of commerce and trade routes. Between 2030-1980 BCE, Ur was the world's largest city, boasting about 65,000 inhabitants within its walls. The city featured many glorious temples and tombs. Today, the site is recognizable... [continue reading]
published on 28 April 2011
Aleppo is a city in northern modern-day Syria. The ancient name of Aleppo, Halab, is of obscure origin. Some have proposed that Halab means 'iron' or 'copper' in Amorite languages since it was a major source of these metals in antiquity. Halaba in Aramaic means white, referring to the color of soil and marble abundant in the area. Another proposed... [continue reading]
Mesopotamia (from the Greek, meaning 'between two rivers’) was an ancient region in the eastern Mediterranean bounded in the northeast by the Zagros Mountains and in the southeast by the Arabian Plateau, corresponding to today’s Iraq, mostly, but also parts of modern-day Iran, Syria and Turkey. The 'two rivers' of the name referred... [continue reading]